What Water Damage Coverages Should You Consider?

One main purpose of home insurance is to provide coverage in the event your home or belongings suffer damage or complete loss. When you make a home insurance claim, the coverage provided is based on the event that caused the damage, also known as a “peril.” A common peril homeowners should evaluate on their policy is “water damage”. There are five types of water loss, four of which are classified as water damage and can be insured on your home policy. The last type of water loss is flooding, which is not included in your home insurance and is insured on a separate policy altogether. It’s important to know these types of water damages to make sure you have the coverage you want.

Sudden and Accidental Water Coverage

Sudden and Accidental Water Damage describes a situation similar to a burst pipe, an appliance malfunction, or any unexpected release of water or steam. For coverage to kick in, the two main components that need to be clear in the cause of damage are “sudden” (not over a period time) and “accidental” (unexpected).

Seepage and Leakage Water Coverage

Seepage and Leakage means continuous and repeated over time (check your policy for specific timelines). Sometimes known as “slow leak coverage,” this damage generally occurs within the plumbing system resulting in a slow leak from a pipe inside the wall, shower pan, A/C pan, or even a leak in the roof. These types of situations often go undetected until the damage is so extensive that it becomes apparent through a collapsed ceiling or a severely damaged wall.

Water Backup and Overflow Coverage

Water backup occurs when water enters the home through plumbing entry points such as sinks, toilets, and bathtubs, and is typically caused by heavy rains and the backup of storm drains or sewers. Sump pumps, used for basements, are sometimes excluded from home policies but can be added, if desired.

Foundation Water Damage Coverage

Another water damage coverage you can include on your home policy is foundation water damage. This coverage is extended when the foundation is damaged from one of the three water damages or from the repairs in response to the water damage.


Flood damage, or damage to your home and belongings due to rising water, is not included as part of your home insurance policy. This separate coverage is on a flood insurance policy and should be strongly considered as part of your overall personal insurance plan. Read more about flood insurance coverage in this blog post. Consider including these important coverage options if they are not built into your home policy. Evaluate your deductibles, or the amount you pay before your insurance takes over, and always review your coverage limits to ensure you have a sufficient amount of coverage. To learn more about our insurance plans, for both business and personal use, connect with our team at stewartinsurance@stewart.com and visit stewartinsurance.com

*Blog content updated as of 8/17/2021